AP English Language and Composition 3.4 Passage Drill
We're not going to give you a speech about how answering this Shmoopy AP English Lit question will help you succeed in life, but if we did, we wonder if you'd be able to discern the tone of it. Why not warm up with this question?
|AP||AP English Language and Composition|
|AP English Language and Composition||Passage Drill|
|English I EOC Assessment||Non-linear Plot Development|
|Test Prep||AP English Language and Composition|
|Tone and Point of View||Point of View|
[ mumbles ]
Okay, we're done reading. Yep, we're done.
All right, Professor Huxley's speech
can be best described as... what?
All right, and here are the potential answers.
[ mumbles ]
All right, well, Professor Huxley asks us
to imagine a world where our lives depend on how well we play chess.
Huxley then compares that to the need to learn about science.
Well, to the professor, scientific inquiry is essential to our survival as a species.
Yeah, so we'd say he thinks that we should all put it
pretty high on our to-do lists.
However, Professor Huxley definitely doesn't sound
pessimistic as option B says.
It's not like he's saying that humanity is definitely gonna
meet its doom if we don't take science seriously.
Though that probably will happen if our laser guns aren't
as awesome as the aliens' laser guns.
[ indistinct ]
All right. Option C accuses the professor of being punctilious.
Well, it might sound like C's calling him a punk,
but "punctilious" actually means that somebody's way
too concerned with what's proper.
And prim. You know? British royalty.
All right. Well, C also claims that Huxley's speech is "affected,"
meaning that it sounds like a fake imitation of something else.
Neither of these things is true, though. Professor Huxley might
be an eloquent speaker, but there isn't a hint that he's stuffy.
He also seems totally sincere to us.
Professor Huxley is all about the science and he wants
everybody to know. Some might think that
choice D is a little bit right.
Well, the professor might be a little verbose, meaning that
he uses a lot of words to get across the point,
but, come on, he's a professor. What do you expect?
D is totally wrong when it calls Huxley's speech ambiguous.
He's not mincing words or being vague. His point's crystal clear.
Science is one of the most important things there is.
If you disagree, well, you're just wrong.
Choice E could be half right.
Huxley's speech is kinda lyrical, meaning that it's
expressive and artistically beautiful.
The chess comparison is a pretty sweet metaphor.
There's no way that the Huxley speech is temperate, though.
If it were, Huxley would come off as a mild-mannered
dude who doesn't get too revved up about anything.
Now does that sound like the professor we know and love?
Not a chance. Choice A is the one that gets
where the professor's coming from.
Huxley is passionate about science.
He even compares the need to study it to a chess death match.
Life and death, how much more urgent could something be?
Yeah, remind us to brush up on chess.
[ scream ]